Poetry from Joseph Schupbach

albany park

my home is stinky sidewalks decorated
with cellulite-lined assyrian patriarchs
sipping cigars and trading falafel

the hot summer scent of  kim chee and flautas
my fourteen-year-old eyes widen as I explore
steaming asphalt in my leopard print tennis shoes

beautiful brown children play makeshift
games in the alleys, carefully monitored by
sweat drenched mothers dressed in full burka

chollos eating elotes while sporting
outlawed baby blue ball caps and carefully
crafted weaves and hot chip stained fingers


school supplies

pencil on paper
thin graphite grazes your
face as i slip through
your thick rimmed glasses

keep your fingers from
my ears and please don’t
pout your sloppy lips

i’ll slice you close
crafty and sharpened
with the blade i keep
beneath my tongue


my mother the lab assistant

while other children
heard tales of santa
a fat chap in crimson
tights and polar fur

my bed-time stories
were of hamsters
huffing cigarette smoke
and you puffing nicotine
in their tiny rodent faces

like slick saint nick you slip
down alleyways with trashbags
full of dead limp critters
ready for each dumpster

Joseph works with Barrel Of Monkeys, an organization in Chicago. Find out more about it, here.

One Response to “Poetry from Joseph Schupbach”
  1. Kathleen says:

    don’t lie…I never told you bed time stories.

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